The research activities to be developed by the Research Area of Competence of “Water Resources and Environment” (WRE) under the 2015-2020 Strategic Programme will be focused on increasing knowledge in two broad fields: urban systems in a changing environment with the scope of redesigning systems enhancing quality of life, both within and beyond the urban environment and the social and economic shape of the city; and risk management and public health, considering key issues related to the assessment of infrastructures and the evaluation of disaster risks in order to better protect public health and contribute to increase resilience to natural calamities.
Research on “urban systems in a changing environment” will be organised in two main project areas: development of innovative solutions for water and wastewater systems, namely in rainwater applications and treated wastewater reuse, in low cost solutions for sanitation in high populated peri-urban zones, and in sustainable urban planning and water management; and searching for innovative approaches in water resources management under climate change challenges, including adaptive approaches to water resources management facing to climate change, the water–energy nexus in the context of sustainability, and solutions for the future water and energy threats.
Research on “risk management and public health” will be organised in two main project areas: risk assessment and risk management in urban water systems; and flooding risk assessment and risk management. The first area will cover topics of public health impacts of urban sanitary infra-structures, safety planning methodologies applied in drinking water and wastewater systems, and new concepts in risk analysis in urban water systems. The second area will focus on innovative approaches in forecast and manage floods in urban contexts, namely in developing and applying innovative hydrologic and hydrodynamics modelling, using ICT in developing decision support systems for floods forecasting, and implementing a centre of excellence in urban flood forecasting.